Technique within the office Half 2: a framework for strategic considering

In our first blog of this sequence, we highlighted that strategic considering is a ability and one that may be improved and developed.

So, what’s technique? What does it imply?

The phrase “technique” comes from the traditional Greek phrase strategos which means “normal or chief of the military”, being a union of the phrases stratos “military” and agein “to guide”.

From the Oxford Dictionary, a contemporary definition is “a plan designed to realize a long-term goal.” Synonyms of technique embrace “plan; grand design; recreation plan; coverage; scheme.”

Learnings on technique, strategic considering, and strategic determination making are ubiquitous. A plethora of lecturers and theorists have conjured their very own meanings and purposes of the time period, making the seek for a universally accepted definition illusory.

The army context supplies many views maybe greatest described in Robert Greene’s traditional ebook, The 33 Methods of Warfare, distilling learnings from Solar Tzu (孫子) and Niccolò Machiavelli to modern-day references.

In enterprise colleges, you’ll doubtless find out about: Michael Porter and his “5 forces framework”; Henry Mintzberg and his “5Ps of technique” – plan, ploy, sample, place and perspective; Benjamin Tregoe and John Zimmerman and their view that technique is “the framework which guides these selections that decide the character and route of a corporation”; Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema and their “three worth disciplines”; Igor Ansoff’s “Ansoff Matrix” – a two-by-two depiction of how a enterprise can develop; and Kenneth Andrew’s view of company technique as “the sample of choices in an organization that determines and divulges its goals, functions, or objectives, produces the principal insurance policies and plans for reaching these objectives, and defines the vary of enterprise the corporate is to pursue, the form of financial and human group it’s or intends to be, and the character of the financial and non-economic contribution it intends to make to its shareholders, staff, clients, and communities.”

Then there’s Frank Rothaermel, who, in line with one research, is amongst the world’s high 2% most cited researchers, formulating “good technique” for a corporation as involving a:

  1. prognosis of the aggressive problem – achieved via evaluation of exterior/inner agency atmosphere;
  2. guiding coverage to deal with the aggressive problem – achieved via technique formulation; and
  3. set of coherent actions to implement the agency’s guiding coverage – achieved via technique implementation.

Clearly, there is no such thing as a one which means or software of the phrase. That mentioned, there are some core components that may present a helpful framework.

Within the office context, we take into account there to be two widespread strategic processes.

The first is round creating an excellent future state. What resourcing is required to ship on our 5 yr plan? How ought to our HR operate be structured? What ought to our subsequent enterprise settlement seem like, and do we’d like one? These points, we’d argue, are genuinely strategic.

The second is grappling with key selections of a extra slender compass. Maybe not strategic as such, however their significance requires strategic considering. Can we terminate the employment? Can we interact contract labour right here? Can we now enable working from residence, and in that case, how commonly?

Each processes depend on getting the proper data to the desk and, usually, tough selections to be made, which name for an evaluation of the stability of penalties which could observe.

For both course of, the same technique framework might be readily utilized. It’s summarised in our Seyfarth Technique Framework (beneath) based mostly on the “rational determination making” mannequin.

The framework:

  1. just isn’t supposed to be utilized rigidly. Reasonably, it serves as a information; and
  2. prompts a primary layer of research solely. As an example, a danger matrix is likely to be wanted to determine and higher look at the dangers. A RACI matrix is likely to be developed as a part of the “implementation”. A nine-box SWOT (versus a easy 4 field) is likely to be developed to populate the “plan”.

As talked about in Half 1 of our sequence, “inquiry” is vital to sound strategic considering. The Seyfarth Technique Framework poses high-level questions. Asking the proper sub-questions having regard to particular context should precede the irresistible urge to proffer an answer.

Cell 4 of the framework, the “inputs”, is the important thing fact-finding half. Right here, it’s essential to determine the data wanted. Let’s use the instance of deciding whether or not we should always enable earn a living from home. Anecdotal suggestions from one supervisor about their views on what the staff are considering, or feeling, is likely to be helpful, however is it dependable sufficient to make the choice you’re about to make? What extra is likely to be wanted right here earlier than steps are taken?

Lastly, selections can’t be sensibly made in a vacuum. Therefore the necessity for standards or guiding ideas. A debate a few plan of action can usually be resolved by asking, “what are our priorities right here?” To take our earn a living from home situation once more, are we aiming to justify our lease expense? Can we care to stability the pursuits of those that need flexibility with those that don’t?

In Half 3, we are going to flip our consideration to “danger”. Greater than ever, danger is a characteristic of office considering and therefore a key variable impacting technique.